Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Freaky Fruit Vol 3: Durian

I have to admit, it was a dare.

Several girls in the office claimed it was their favorite, another that the only time she ate it she threw up, and my friend Tom wrote: "Glad you discovered longans, but you’re not an advanced Asian fruit goer until you’ve had durian fruit …" So of course i rushed right out and bought one today when the power went out.

For anyone who hasnt met a Durian in person, let me paint a picture. You pass a Durian cart on the street and its like walking through a fog of sweetened hot garbage. To wit:
The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Regarded by some as fragrant, others as overpowering and offensive, the smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust. The odour has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.
If you can buy one before fainting, the vendor with crack open the spiny shell with an icepick, because the husk is really tough. There are the fruit pods, which are about the size of a film canister and look like fatty tumors. Mmmmm... The fruit itself is an offwhite, creamy goo clinging to a soft pod.

But, i actually enjoyed it! I had a fresh one, so it only smelled a little like garbage, not fetid. It was custardy, and tasted like a creamy, spicy cantaloupe, with a slightly tangy finish, almost like an eau de vie. And an aftertaste that is distinctly...raw onion. Anyway, I finished the whole thing - partially to keep the office from smelling.

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